February 10, 2009
Philip Rizk has been an outspoken activist on Palestinian issues and lived in Gaza for two years. He previously worked on aid projects with Canon Andrew White, special envoy to the Middle East for the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Eyewitnesses said he was bundled into a white van with no licence plates, which then sped off. The German embassy has been informed of his detention and is trying to locate him. His family say they have been tipped off that he is now being held by Egyptian secret police at an undisclosed location.
Over the weekend a delegation of lawyers and activists filed charges with the public prosecutor’s office, relating to his kidnapping by three state security officers.
Mr Rizk writes a popular blog, “Tabula Gaza”, and has just completed a short documentary about non-violent protest against Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip.
- BBC News
February 6, 2009
A UN spokesman said policemen raided a UN warehouse on Tuesday after officials refused to hand over the aid to a Hamas-controlled ministry. The UN said it was the first time its aid had been confiscated by Hamas.
It condemned the action and demanded the goods be immediately returned. Hamas denied its men had taken any aid.
UN spokesman Christopher Gunness said Hamas police took 3,500 blankets and over 400 food parcels.
The Hamas Social Affairs Minister in Gaza, Ahmed al-Kurd, denied that members of the Islamist movement had removed aid from a UN building. However, he said his ministry was in dispute with the UN relief agency about how aid should be distributed.
He accused the UN of giving aid to local groups with ties to Hamas opponents.
– BBC News
The UN aid agency in Gaza says it has suspended all aid shipments, accusing the Hamas government of seizing hundreds of tonnes of food supplies.
Ten lorries carrying flour and rice were taken from the Palestinian side of the Kerem Shalom crossing, the UN’s Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa) said.
Hamas admitted a “mistake” had been made and says it will return the goods. But Unrwa says deliveries will not restart until it has assurances that such seizures will not happen again.
February 1, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has vowed a “disproportionate” response to rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza.
He was speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, soon after at least two rockets hit southern Israel. No casualties were reported.
Two weeks ago, Israel and Hamas – which controls the Gaza Strip – declared separate ceasefires.
They ended Israel’s three-week assault on the Gaza Strip, which Israel said was aimed at stopping rocket attacks.
On Sunday Mr Olmert warned Israel would respond forcefully to renewed rocket fire.
“We’ve said that if there is rocket fire against the south of the country, there will be a disproportionate Israeli response to the fire on the citizens of Israel and its security forces,” he said.
- BBC News
As America remains Israel’s biggest backer financially, militarily and politically it is anyone’s guess how this will relate to President Obama’s recent use of his first formal TV interview to “reach out to the muslim world”.
January 27, 2009
BBC News reports…
Israel has carried out an air attack in the Gaza Strip and launched an incursion with tanks and bulldozers across the border.
There are reports of heavy fighting near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, with many people fleeing their homes.
The incursion follows a bomb attack which killed one Israeli soldier and wounded three near the Gaza border.
It is the worst violence since Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza ended with both sides declaring ceasefires.
No group has said it carried out Tuesday’s bombing on an Israeli patrol near the border crossing of Kissufim.
Soon to be renamed Kissurassgudbai…
come to an end: eg. the hostilities had ceased and normal life resumed
January 25, 2009
ITV, Channel 4 and Five are to show a charity appeal for Gaza amid a row over the BBC’s decision not to run the film…
The Disasters Emergency Committee – an umbrella organisation for several major aid charities – wants to raise funds for people in need of food, shelter and medicines as a result of Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip.
Previous DEC appeals shown on multiple TV and radio channels have raised millions of pounds for victims of wars and natural disasters.
But BBC director general Mark Thompson said: “After consultation with senior news editors, we concluded that to broadcast a free-standing appeal, no matter how carefully couched, ran the risk of calling into question the public’s confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in its coverage of the story as a whole.”
- BBC News
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency has cancelled interviews with the BBC over its decision not to broadcast a charity appeal for Gaza.
Mohamed ElBaradei believed that the BBC’s decision broke “the rules of basic human decency”, his spokeswoman said.
January 18, 2009
Israel is to halt its three-week military offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said.
He said Israel had achieved its aims and the unilateral ceasefire would start at 0200 (2400 GMT). But he said troops would remain in Gaza for now.
A Hamas spokesman said it would not accept one Israeli soldier in Gaza.
Nearly 1,200 Palestinians have been killed since the violence began on 27 December. Thirteen Israelis have died.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed relief at the ceasefire.
- BBC News
January 10, 2009
Israel has continued to pound Gaza a week after sending in ground troops, despite the UN voicing disappointment ceasefire calls had not been heeded.
Israel said it launched 40 overnight air strikes, while Hamas militants fired several rockets at Israeli towns.
Senior Palestinian officials are in Egypt for talks on how to end the Gaza conflict, which began two weeks ago.
Health officials in Gaza say more than 800 Palestinians have died. Israel says 13 Israelis have been killed.
- BBC News